AbstractsBiology & Animal Science

Probing Ligand Induced Perturbations In Protien Structure Networks : Physico-Chemical Insights From MD Simulations And Graph Theory

by Moitrayee Bhattacharyya

Institution: Indian Institute of Science
Year: 2012
Keywords: Protein Structure; Protein - Non Covalent Interactions; Nucleic Acids- Non Covalent Interactions; Bacterial LuxS Protein; Protein-Ligand Interactions; Protein Structure Networks; Proteins - Conformation; Allosteric Proteins; Energy-Weighted Network Formalism; Proteins - Allosterism; Protein Structure Network (PSN); Protein Structure Graph (PSN); Protein Complex Energy Network (PcEN); Biochemistry
Record ID: 1187007
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/2005/2341


The fidelity of biological processes and reactions, inspite of the widespread diversity, is programmed by highly specific physico-chemical principles. This underlines our basic understanding of different interesting phenomena of biological relevance, ranging from enzyme specificity to allosteric communication, from selection of fold to structural organization / states of oligomerization, from half-sites-reactivity to reshuffling of the conformational free energy landscape, encompassing the dogma of sequence-structure dynamics-function of macromolecules. The role of striking an optimal balance between rigidity and flexibility in macromolecular 3D structural organisation is yet another concept that needs attention from the functional perspective. Needless to say that the variety of protein structures and conformations naturally leads to the diversity of their function and consequently many other biological functions in general. Classical models of allostery like the ‘MWC model’ or the ‘KNF model’ and the more recently proposed ‘population shift model’ have advanced our understanding of the underlying principles of long range signal transfer in macromolecules. Extensive studies have also reported the importance of the fold selection and 3D structural organisation in the context of macromolecular function. Also ligand induced conformational changes in macromolecules, both subtle and drastic, forms the basis for controlling several biological processes in an ordered manner by re-organizing the free energy landscape. The above mentioned biological phenomena have been observed from several different biochemical and biophysical approaches. Although these processes may often seem independent of each other and are associated with regulation of specialized functions in macromolecules, it is worthwhile to investigate if they share any commonality or interdependence at the detailed atomic level of the 3D structural organisation. So the nagging question is, do these diverse biological processes have a unifying theme, when probed at a level that takes into account even subtle re-orchestrations of the interactions and energetics at the protein/nucleic acid side-chain level. This is a complex problem to address and here we have made attempts to examine this problem using computational tools. Two methods have been extensively applied: Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations and network theory and related parameters. Network theory has been extensively used in the past in several studies, ranging from analysis of social networks to systems level networks in biology (e.g., metabolic networks) and have also found applications in the varied fields of physics, economics, cartography and psychology. More recently, this concept has been applied to study the intricate details of the structural organisation in proteins, providing a local view of molecular interactions from a global perspective. On the other hand, MD simulations capture the dynamics of interactions and the conformational space associated with a given state (e.g., different…